Thursday, September 4, 2008

Weeknight Pasta with Vegetables

Nothing special last night, just a quick dish of pasta with vegetables. (Crappy food styling again - I swear there's basil in this dish. I was hungry.)

A few tips for when you're in a hurry for dinner and pasta's on the menu:
  • Use small pasta shapes. It's sorta logical: smaller, thinner pastas will cook faster. Think angel hair instead of spaghetti, orzo instead of penne.
  • Set the water to boil as soon as you think about dinner. Water always takes ages to boil. Get it going.
  • Cut your veggies into small pieces. See pasta size logic above. Small, even-sized pieces are best.
  • Give your dish a baked pasta feeling without the oven: toast some breadcrumbs to sprinkle over the top of the dish.
Fast Weeknight Dinner Pasta
Serves two
  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 2 cups chopped eggplant, zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 cups chopped tomato
  • handful of basil or parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • grated Parmesan
Set your pasta water on the stove to boil and cook the pasta. While the pasta is boiling, saute the eggplant, squash, what-have-you, with the onion and garlic until browned and cooked through. Toss in the chopped tomatoes and set aside.

Toast the breadcrumbs in a hot skillet with a little oil until golden brown. Set aside.

When the pasta is done, drain it, reserving one cup of water. Over heat, toss the pasta with the vegetables, adding pasta water as need to make a slightly saucy dish. Toss in the basil or parsley, grated cheese and salt and pepper.

Before serving, sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs.

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